A successful journalist and news reporter in the past, George is now focused on freelance work to be able to dedicate more time to the most important things in his life: family, friends, his dogs, and fishing.
John is an avid traveler, hiker, and RVer. Moreover, it seems like he knows everything when it comes to fishing and hunting: his father started sharing all the tips and tricks he knew when John was a kid. No wonder we trust his opinion every time a new article is being created.
Last updated: June 05, 2021
Outdoorsly is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
If archery is a sport that you love, you probably want to share the experience with your children as a way to bond. However, if they use the same equipment, you are using, they might get frustrated and give it up altogether. The reason for this is that tools for grown-ups may be a little challenging to use at a young age. As such tools made specifically for kids may be precisely what you need so you could practice your favorite sport with the children. The best youth bows are available for sale, and you can find them at varying price points and with different features. Also, if the children are already into the sport, you can incorporate them into the buying process to avoid wasting money on a product they don’t like.
Among the features that make the most effective review criteria is the bow type and you should deciding whether to pick a youth recurve bow, a traditional, takedown, or any of the other bow options on offer. Another critical factor is the draw weight. Draw lengths that are in line with the child’s limbs will more likely to serve them better. Also, draw weight may impact your buying decision profoundly. In addition to the above, the axle to axle length may also affect the usability of the tool.
However, with the review criteria above, you have to have a list of options that you can rank in terms of value. Having reviewed many options available, what is below is a compressed list of impressive prospects in the form of a comparison table. After that, you get in-depth reviews of individual products showing why they made it on to our list. The final piece of the puzzle is a buying guide just in case you feel a little confused about how we arrived at our listing. Buying the best youth bows shouldn’t be too much of a hassle, and with this article, your work is made all the more simple.
If you are looking to invest in a versatile tool that will serve your child for years to come, then the Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package is an excellent option to start with. The device has a minimum draw length of 13 inches which should be just right for eight-year-old arms. As children grow, they will no doubt increase their draw length, and you can adjust those settings on the bow incrementally. Ultimately you can reach a maximum draw length of 31 inches with the axle length being a similar size.
The draw weight is also just as versatile. You can start at 5 lbs if your kid doesn’t have that much arm strength. Consequently, as their power increases, you can adjust these settings up. The fact that the maximum values for this gadget are 31 inches draw height, and 70 lbs draw weight should tell you this tool will still be viable even as children reach their late teens. It should also take your mind off of buying another bow for a couple of years.
Released arrows can reach speeds of up to 310 ft/sec, which is quite an impressive statistic. Another rather remarkable feature of the Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package is the stabilizer. As a result, you get to keep your shots steadier after release. Also, the tool is more efficient than the two previous options with a let-off of up to 80 percent. If the intended use for the bow is deer hunting, then you are in luck. The minimum draw weight you need according to state hunting laws is 40 lbs. The fact that you can even reach 70 lbs is a bonus.
The second option of the day is the Barnett Vortex Lite Bow which is recommended for 10-year-old kids or older. The device will likely cost you more than the Bear Archery Brave Bow Set to purchase. Nonetheless, you can still expect a few upsides from buying this model. The draw length range is a bit limited from 22-25 inches. Where you have experience with compound bows, you will probably know how to measure your child’s arm length then calculate whether the draw length options will fit them. Most children will fit well within this limited range, but there are, of course, exceptions.
The axle to axle length is also pretty sizeable for this device at about 28 inches in total. Where you are looking for a way to transport this tool to your practice site, and back you are in luck. The device ships in a storage case that also doubles as your carrying case. Construction-wise the bow body is made from fiberglass and as such durability is all but assured.
The let-off provided by this model is about 65% which means that were it not for the fact that this is a compound bow your children would have to struggle more to keep the string at maximum draw. This is yet another device that is only configured for right-hand usage. Left-handed users will thus have to find another suitable model.
Why is it special?
Comes with carrying case
22-25 inch adjustable draw lengths in 1-inch increments
If you are familiar with the different kinds of bows, you will notice this is more of a compound style bow. These types of bows tend to be lightweight and easy to use. The Bear Archery Brave Bow Set is a viable option for anyone who is eight years or older. You don’t want to introduce someone too young to archery as it also carries with it some safety risks. The wheels on the youth compound bow help users pull back on the string to some extent. As such, they can get to maximum draw weight without too much hassle. On the riser, which is one of the components of a compound bow, you can find the sight that will help your son or daughter aim at whatever it is they are trying to shoot.
Another critical component of a compound bow is the arrow rest which you will notice the manufacturer has not left out with this purchase. The arrow rest is one of the reasons you can expect the compound bow to shoot in a straight line at your target. Of course, some dos and don’ts apply and if followed should help with your child’s overall shooting. If you are using a compound bow yourself, then you are in a much better position to show him/her the ropes. This model comes with 26” axle to axle overall bow length.
You also get a 13.5 to a 19.5” draw length range. For previous users of similar products, you know this range can be adjusted to fit your child’s limb size. In addition to that, the draw weight options range from 15 to 25 lbs. This is overall a quality purchase and one that your kid is likely to appreciate. It also makes transitioning to an adult bow easier when the time comes.
The bow comes with finger rollers, armguard, quiver along with two safety glass arrows.
We have already seen one arrow in the Barnett Vortex series. This particular model is higher up in the chain and will thus cost you more. However, the tool is geared towards a teenage market and will, therefore, have a few extra features than the Barnett Vortex Lite Bow. Nevertheless, this is not to mean that younger children cannot use the tool. There is sufficient wriggle room for kids just above the age of ten to use the bow. Where draw length is concerned, you get between 22 to 27 inches. Just like in the previous model, this is incremental in one-inch installments. However, the axle to axle length is similar in both Barnett Vortex models mentioned thus far.
Once you receive the package from Amazon or wherever you purchase the device from you should look for the inclusion of the following three elements: the bow as a first, an attached quiver and lastly there should be three fiberglass arrows. A similarity with the previous model that you are also likely to appreciate is that the package is also a carrying case making the bow easier to transport.
The cams are oversized, and that provides a shooting efficiency that results in about 70% maximum let-off. Where the sight of the bow is concerned, the device features a three-pin variation. The pins in question are also visible in low light since not all lighting conditions will be ideal as you are hunting.
Why is it special?
Versatile for teens and children alike
Low light usable sight
Comes with carrying case
What are the flaws?
You might need to look for extra arrows to make full use of the bow
With aluminum construction, the Genesis Original Kit bow is one of the most durable options you can get your children. Also, from the looks of it features a rather simplistic design. The axle length is the longest so far even though ten-year-olds can still use the gadget. Where color is concerned, you get more than ten options to choose from. As a starter tool, it speaks to the quality of the bow that it is the number one pick for an archery program. As such, you can expect this tool to be there helping your kids grow in their archery journey every step of the way.
With the proprietary cam technology in this bow, there is less recoil. This results in less noise from the bow and accurate shooting experiences. If you are unsure of what the cams are, they are the two attachments on the ends on the bow that resemble wheels. Where this stool stands a notch above the rest is with the inclusion of a left-hand configuration. As such the bow will be available to use for a broader range of the population.
As you are buying the bow, it should come with a few accessories. They include an arm-guard, a belt tube quiver along with five aluminum arrows to store in it. Additionally, you should also check for a hex wrench and a manual. These will be especially handy when it is time to adjust draw length and weight.
Why are we impressed?
Both right hand and left-hand configurations
What negatives must you be aware of?
Users have complained that some of the accessories are not up to par and that you might have to purchase new ones
Another option you might want to purchase is the mini kit by Genesis. The device is meant for children aged eight up to about 13. This tool is a tad smaller than its counterpart the Genesis original. The distance from axle to axle stands at about 29 and a half inches. Also, this tool is meant as a training product. As such if you compare it with other products on our list, you may be disappointed in the draw weight. However, if all you want is to be able to show your son or daughter the ropes of archery, then you are good to go.
The youth compound bow for 10-year olds is also one of few to offer left-hand options. Weight wise the device also falls on the lower end of the spectrum. Your child will thus have an easy time moving it from place to place as they practice their new hobby. Just like its predecessor, you get to choose from multiple color options.
You should also expect the same accessories you see in the Genesis original version.
Why is it special?
Various color options
Great for beginners
What are the flaws?
You might need to upgrade to a better bow as soon as your child gets comfortable with shooting
For kids in their late teens, you want a youth hunting bow that can help with the transition to adult bows. This model fits that bill. Unfortunately, there is no let-off, and as such, the bow solely depends on the strength of the user to give output. However, as much as this youth bow is suitable for teens, it will not do the job of deer hunting very well. This is because the draw weight is limited to not more than 20 lbs. As such, it may prick and injure deer but not kill them. Consequently you will have a lot of deer running around with injuries.
The 34-inch axle to axle length tool is very durable and will last for a few years. Nevertheless, if you want to take your child deer hunting, you should also budget for an upgrade as soon as possible. In the meantime, use this tool to help them get their aim correct. Budget wise this is also a sensible pick.
Accessories are part of the shipment, and you won’t have to spend a penny more on the bow for your child to start practicing. However, you might need to get a target to help with their aim.
Why did it make our list?
Comes with accessories
Great for training
What is not ideal about it?
Cannot be used for deer hunting
The sight seems a little problematic for some users
Things to Consider
Features to consider while choosing a youth bow
Choosing a youth bow is not an exercise to be taken lightly. If the conditions were right, you would get to test out all the options provided then pick out a favorite. However, that is not possible, and so you have to make the best out of the one chance you have to purchase a youth compound bow. Consequently, the features listed for each bow maybe your window for looking into the viability of each product for your needs. As such, you should be on the lookout for the following:
On our list, there are only compound bows featured. However, this is not to insinuate that this is the only type of bow available. The different models have different benefits. A compound bow, for example, should make it easier for the user to pull the arrow back. This is where terms like let-off come in. Another type of bow is the crossbow known for ease of use and power. Traditional bows are what the original design of a bow looked like before there was any experimentation in the design. You can also get recurve, Yumi, longbows, and takedown bows as options.
The different types all have their advantages and disadvantages. You should make it a point to know the strong points and weaknesses of each type before even thinking of buying one.
In layman’s terms, the draw weight is the force you would have to exert to keep the bow in position after you have pulled the string back. The higher the draw weight, the more power and speed your shot will have. As such, you will also find regulations and laws on what draw weight you should use for deer hunting. If the draw weight is too little, the deer will live to be hunted another day. A 40 pounds draw weight is an excellent place to start for grownups.
For youth, it is a whole different story. If it is a practice bow meant for their learning curve into the sport, there is no need for high draw weight. Also, you might have to consider if they have the power to keep up with the draw weight. 70-pound draw weight may seem like a bit much for an eight-year-old. As a rule of thumb remember that the higher the draw weight, the less accurate the shot is likely to be. Nevertheless, some bow manufacturers put in place countermeasures that allow for accuracy even at a 70 lbs draw weight.
A common feature where compound bows are concerned is the inclusion of cams. These are generally on the ends of the bow and have a structure similar to a wheel with various exceptions. These components have an axle passing in the middle that enables the cam to spin back and forth, therefore, influencing the draw weight and ultimately the shot. Since youth compound bows for deer hunting have two of these, the distance between them is what is considered the axle-to-axle length.
Where the axle-to-axle length or ATA is concerned, it can have various influences on the shooting experience. Longer bows can have a smoother draw cycle, and even that may have an impact on the speed of the arrow. As such, the longer the ATA, the slower your arrow is likely to be. Shorter counterparts are the exact opposite. This is why you find arrows with a shorter ATA in a variety of hunting applications.
The let off of a bow is something that has previously been mentioned in our article. Just in case it wasn’t clear, it refers to how much of the weight you have to hold if you are to maintain the bow at full draw. Where the draw weight is 70 pounds with a 50% let-off, you will only need to hold 35 pounds. The other 35 are «let-off» by the design of the bow, and you still maintain full power.
Price and Warranty
Pricing is a tricky matter where you often have to pick between affordability and features. This trade-off is likely to be there in a lot of the options in the market. As such, you should try and determine your budget limitations beforehand. Once you have this down, then you can start your search. Where you feel there is the least amount of trade-off between what you can afford and what you can get, you should list down that product as a potential purchase. However, if you feel that your budget and what you want, don’t coincide you can give yourself more time to save. This will expand the number of choices at your disposal.
A warranty is also a requirement for most products you purchase. You should want assurance that what you are about to get is of the highest possible quality and a warranty gives that assurance. Warranties make sure you don’t need to spend an extra penny for at least a significant period after purchase especially where repairs are concerned.
Girls, more or less, have the same capabilities as boys, especially in their younger years. As such, no manufacturer makes a model specifically for girls. However, with the characteristics of your daughter considered, you will be able to choose a model that works best for them. This is concerning their size as well as power. With the right information in mind, it is almost impossible to go wrong with your selection.
Accuracy does depend on bow type. Compound bows will reflect a higher accuracy rating because of a few features. One is you can include a sight to help with your aim. Another reason why the accuracy is better is let-off which is a phenomenon we have previously explained. Less strain on the archer’s arm means more stability and more accuracy.
Stabilizers can be of help when you include one in your bow. One reason for this is they add forward weight. The result is added balance on your bow. Due to this, your shots come off better. Whether you need one on your bow is up to you to determine. However, your child should at least be familiar with archery before they decide whether they need one or not.
If you pick the Bear Archery Brave Bow Set, you are in luck price-wise as that is one of the less pricy options you can get. For the first few sessions of training, you want a lightweight device that has all the perks of a pro model. It helps that the equipment in question is durable and even features significant let-off for draw weight values that aren’t much. Your child is thus likely to enjoy using the bow a lot.
The Genesis Mini Kit also makes an ideal pick for children under ten years. Most of the options we have on our list can even be used by teens, and as such, an option that the youngest child in your home can use is refreshing. Nevertheless, accessories are included with the purchase, including arrows and a quiver. A target in your backyard is all that’s left for your child’s practice rounds.
The Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package is an all-round tool that can serve the needs of kids as well as those of a few adults. As such, a child can get this one at ten years and still be able to use it at 17. If the device is well-taken care of this will be the result, and you won’t need to buy another tool for a few years. The only thing you may need to do is make some adjustments from time to time. The three mentioned here would be the top three picks for us. Which ones do you consider your top three? Let us know in the comments.